" It doesn't matter/' Mr. Munn said.
"Naw," the first deputy agreed, "it don't matter what he
calls hisself, This ain't exactly what you might call a social
The almost bare boughs of the trees made a web-like
pattern of shadow on the road. Overhead, the highest twigs
seemed touched with a delicate, pale tinsel The main trunks
against the moonlight were of an inky and unreal blackness.
"I come out here once at night coon-hunting," the deputy
called Burke said. "I wasn't much more'n a boy, I reckon,
and I come out here with some fellers."
The other men seemed to be paying him no attention,
looking down the road.
"They was Ike Summer, I recollect, and George Hicks. I
can't name the other fellers right off. I reckon some of 'em
ain't round here no more."
Distantly, off to the right, an owl hooted in the woods.
Mr. Munn looked in that direction, and then gave his atten-
tion again to the road.
" It was a long time back," the deputy called Burke added,
and fell silent.
The other deputy sniggered. " You say you was coon-hunt-
ing?" he inquired,
"Yes," Burke said "We come coon-hunting. We got two
coons, I recollect."
"Well"—and the other sniggered again—"you might say
as you're coon-hunting tonight, too."
For a moment Burke, as though irritated or truculent, did
not respond. Then he exclaimed," Huh, coon-hunting, that's
good, huh!" And laughed. "Well," he added, his laughter
over, " I been doing this kind of coon-hunting all over hell
for a long time now."
Mr. Munn stretched out his arm toward a clearing by the
road some sixty or seventy yards ahead. " Is that the place?"
The first deputy said it was the place.
"You better hitch your horse, Mr. Monroe," Mr. Munn